Daimler is preparing a baby G-wagen to bring the chunky SUV look to the masses. Codenamed X247, the new Mercedes GLB is due to enter production in September 2019,
The GLB badge is the likely badge earmarked for this junior 4x4, which is openly referred to as a smaller G-wagen. So a tougher, rougher SUV compared with the GLA’s smooth, school-run focus.
The pictures above are the regular G-wagen and the Ener-G Force concept car - an outlandish look at a smaller hardcore SUV at the 2012 Los Angeles motor show.
Mercedes GLB: what to expect
The GLB had in an earlier development phase been planned with two different bodystyles, but when Mercedes and Infiniti added up their volume projections, only the long-wheelbase seven-seater made the grade.
The character of the car has remained the same from day one: this is a charming mix of G-class visuals, B-class proportions and GLA-class dynamics.
You will be able to order X247 with an on-road body kit and with front-wheel drive, or you can specify the full all-terrain treatment complete with 4Matic 4x4.
The extended wheelbase makes provision for wider rear doors which in turn facilitate access to the third row of seats. Those who don’t want to use their GLB as minibus can fold seats number six and seven flat and individually push back seats number three, four and five for maximum legroom and XXL luggage space.
Based on MFA2: the next-gen small-car platform
The GLB is built upon the Daimler empire’s next-generation MFA2 architecture, the small-car platform which underpins the A- and B-class families, and soon associated Infinitis such as the Q30, too.
What’s new? It’s said to be lighter, stiffer, more flexible and cheaper to produce than today’s. And with those swollen outputs thanks to the Renault-Nissan alliance, capacity is set to increase to 400,000 units - meaning they can afford two different rear suspensions.
Engines in the new mini G-wagen
Renault is to supply the three-cylinder engines reserved for the entry-level models in the MFA2 family, while M-B will oversee the four-cylinder units.
Fresh additions to the line-up are a low-end torque 204bhp 2.0-litre diesel, a more potent turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine rated at 272bhp, and a 380bhp twin-turbo high-end unit reserved for the GLB45 AMG. Seven-speed twin-clutch and a nine-speed auto will be offered.
Our guesstimate for the baby G-wagen predicts a starting point of €32,500 (£25,000); in other words around €3000 (£2300) more than the five-seater GLA.
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